We’re seeing the term “business continuity” used everywhere nowadays, while search engines report more than 10,000 monthly searches for the word, globally. On the surface, this makes sense, given the fact that we’ve all been faced with the reality of adjusting our business models to account for the effects of COVID-19. The stronger your business continuity plan (BCP), the less you have to scramble to run your business smoothly. So, where does visitor management fall into the grand scheme of things?

Long story short, companies need to perform due care to protect their workforce from COVID-19 during and post-lockdown periods. But they also need to allow their employees, contractors and visitors onto their premises while being fully accountable for everyone’s health and safety. Aside from the basic benefits that a visitor management system affords you—efficiency, branding, security and compliance—there is also the need to uphold visitor privacy. Not only is data privacy now touted as being a basic human right, but it’s also critical going forward as we are required to collect health-related information.


Crucial First Steps Need to be Taken

Above all else, we should all continue to monitor public information provided by local and governmental health authorities. If you need to adopt severe measures according to government directives around safe working practices, then most of them will likely start at the entrance of your business sites. This is where choosing the right visitor management system will make all the difference. 

There are seven concrete steps you can put in place in this crisis situation, and during your recovery phase for re-entry to the office:

  1. Take a phased approach in your return to work plan: It's important to reduce the number of unexpected visitors to your property, and move to an invite-first culture where all visitors are pre-registered. This will reduce the number of non-essential visits and also allow you to screen and communicate ahead of time.
  2. Implement a touchless check-in process: By leveraging unique QR codes and access control system integrations, you can offer your visitors a safer way to move around your premises.
  3. Perform health and safety screenings ahead of time: Email your visitors important health and safety information, NDAs or agreements to sign in advance of their arrival. You can grant or deny access based on questions you’ve asked during your pre-check-in process.
  4. Customize the check-in process: Configure relevant check-in screens that allow your visitors to complete a quick health questionnaire to determine whether or not to grant then access to your premises.
  5. Integrate watchlists for monitoring visitors: Quickly and discreetly flag any visitors who may need special attention or denied access depending on a previous health and security screening.
  6. Safely and easily retrieve data: Rest assured that you‘ll have a full audit trail of data to use for insurance-related or law enforcement investigations.
  7. Real-time emergency lists: Perform roll calls or send follow-up communication, as needed, to relay important information to your visitors.


Be Proactive and Stay Ahead of the Crisis

It’s not too late to put a cloud-based visitor management system in place. In fact, it’s no longer a nice-to-have in this era but a must-have to future-proof your business. Your business continuity planning should include visitor management at each step in order for your organization to deliver what you’ve promised to your internal and external stakeholders alike. In order to instill the confidence your employees need to operate as “business as usual,” now and post-COVID, you’ll need to tackle the way you manage your entrances and front desks right away.

Your customers and other stakeholders will be watching to see how proactive you are in ensuring full accountability for your actions in keeping your people, your premises and your intellectual property safe. This is an opportunity to boost customer loyalty and trust, minimize downtime and recovery costs and achieve your business goals and growth despite the odds.